On the Dutch market it is common to use the service of a ‘makelaar’ (Real Estate Agent) when buying or renting accommodation. A list of recommended Real Estate Agents complete with a Glossary of terms is available from Outpost The Hague.
On the rental market a distinction is made between fully furnished, partly furnished and unfurnished rental accommodation (see translation table below). Discuss with your Real Estate Agent which one you prefer. All partly furnished properties should have all white goods included- a cooker, fridge, washing machine and tumble dryer. Curtains and carpets are also included in the deal. If unfurnished, light bulbs light switches, and floors may even be removed. It is your Real Estate Agent’s job to help you find a suitable home and also to negotiate the rent on your behalf. In return your Real Estate Agent will charge a fee, which can be up to one month’s rent; this fee should be agreed before you start looking at houses.
Most estate agents will show you around any properties on offer. Ask for a printout of available properties on a Friday afternoon. Over the weekend you can pre-screen the locations and decide whether it is worthwhile arranging an appointment to view the property the following week. Ideals and expectations often have to be compromised, but no Expatriate has ever been left homeless by not finding somewhere suitable to live! Time and patience are needed to succeed in finding a house that will eventually become your home. When buying or renting a property it is recommended to use an approved NVM estate agent. A good Real Estate Agent will not just show you a property; he/she will recognise the strengths and weaknesses in a potential purchase or rental agreement.
House search website: www.funda.nl (geared by NVM – network of Dutch real estate ).